What is a SAT Test

SAT Test Pattern

SAT, which is developed by College Board, is a standardized test for getting admission in U.S educational institutions. By means of SAT test, College Board, a not-for-profit organization wholly dedicates itself in directing students towards higher education. SAT essentially examines the reading, writing and mathematical skills of the candidates. An introductory answer is thus given to ‘what is a SAT test’. SAT score is one of the main factors considered by colleges as part of their admission process and hence there exists a necessity for the students to know ‘what is a SAT test’ for demonstrating their abilities in these areas.

Different Sections in SAT:

Understanding the different SAT sections - Critical reading, Writing and Mathematics is very important to answer ‘what is a SAT test’.Hence, let us now discuss each of these sections elaborately.

Critical Reading:

This section of the SAT test has two 25 minute sections and one 20 minute section and it consists of reading passages and sentence completion questions.

  • Reading passages:

    The reading passages segment checks the ability to think from an author’s perspective, comprehend the context and support the implications of a passage and this forms the major chunk of this section. The passages are short and are plotted mostly on topics pertaining to natural sciences, humanities, social sciences, and literary fiction etc.

  • Sentence Completion:

    Questions on sentence completion examine the vocabulary skills of the candidates and their expertise in sentence-framing. The number of sentence completion questions count anywhere between 5 and 8 and these are multiple choice questions.


The writing part has two 25 minute sections and one 10 minute section. This division of the SAT test contains essay-writing, error identification and questions on improving sentences and paragraphs. The last two are multiple-choice questions.

  • Error-identification and Sentence improvement:

    Assesses the capability to pinpoint errors in sentence structures and improve them or identify that a sentence is faultless. Hence the candidates must be in a position to trace and find out where the error lies in the sentence, if at all it exists.

  • Paragraph Improvement:

    Identifies the candidates’ potential to understand the context of a paragraph, articulate and logically rearrange sentences. This segment thus poses a challenge to organize sentences in a meaningful order.

  • Essay-writing:

    Given a particular topic, the candidates are asked to write an essay specific to it. Within a time frame of 25 minutes, the students are expected to think over ideas and views on the topic concerned and present them in an orderly manner. The ideas developed could be based on their opinion and experience or from books.


The candidates are tested on the following areas of mathematics:

  • Numbers and arithmetic operations
  • Algebra and functions
  • Geometry and measurement
  • Data analysis, statistics, and probability

This section of the SAT test has multiple choice and grid-in types of questions, a very common method of testing. As known, the multiple choice segment asks students to pick the correct answer from few given choices. Similar to critical reading segment, the mathematics section also has two 25 minute sections and one 20 minute section. One of the 25 minute sections has 20 multiple choice questions and the other one has 8 multiple choice questions and 10 grid-in questions. The grid-in questions have no choices and so the candidates have to solve the problem and grid-in the answers. The 20 minute section has 16 questions and is fully of multiple choice types. No points are deducted for incorrect responses in the grid-in section.

Learning ‘what is a SAT test’ is a key factor in coming up with a proper study plan. More answers to ‘what is a SAT test’ can be obtained at the official SAT website http://sat.collegeboard.org/home. FAQs on SAT are available at http://sat.collegeboard.org/about-tests/sat/faq. http://professionals.collegeboard.com/testing/sat-reasoning/about/sections also has a great deal of information on the various SAT sections. Thus, with a wholesome understanding on ‘what is a SAT test’ and its question pattern, candidates are all set for an excellent preparation for the exam in order to emerge as winners.

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